Prince William sleeps rough on streets of London

Tuesday December 22, 2009

Second-in-line to the throne Prince William spent a night in a sleeping bag near Blackfriars Bridge in central London last week, as part of his role as patron of the homeless charity Centrepoint.

Wills was accompanied by the organisation's chief executive Seyi Obakin, who said they were nearly run over by a road sweeping vehicle at one point.

Seyi explained: "For me, it was a scary experience. Out of my comfortable bed. Out there in the elements. Out there on an extremely cold night, with temperatures down to -4C.

"And it was the same for Prince William. But he was determined to do it as patron in order to raise awareness of the problem and to be able to understand a little better what rough sleepers go through night after night.

"We took as much precaution as possible - finding a relatively secluded spot in an alleyway, shielded partly by a collection of wheelie bins.

"But there was no shielding from the bitter cold, or the hard concrete floor, or the fear of being accosted by drug dealers, pimps or those out to give homeless people a 'good kicking'."

After sleeping until 6am, William was taken on a tour of areas where people sleep rough in the West End of London.

Photo: PA

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